Pregnancy Update: 18 weeks

Baby is the size of a sweet potato! (Courtesy of my Ovia pregnancy app.) And coincidentally I’ve just started really wanting to eat sweet potatoes again…in enchiladas, as a breakfast bowl, with shredded chicken on top…

With the fatigue and frustrating constant hunger that pregnancy brings (to me, at least), my last blog post was about 11 weeks ago, shattering my goal of posting once a week this year. Can we start over this week?! Of course!

So let’s compare this pregnancy to my first (this is more for me than for you, but if you find it interesting, keep reading).

Sleep – Um, I get less of it? I sleep almost every time Judith (the almost 2 yr old) does but I haven’t had problems sleeping yet.

Exercise – I haven’t exercised consistently since around 7 weeks because that’s when the fatigue and constant hunger kicked in. Exercising made me more tired and more hungry, and I couldn’t sleep unless Judith did (one nap a day, for 45-60 mins) which was not enough sleep for me.

Cravings – none really. I never had serious cravings with Judith either – just a “wow that would taste really good right now!” feeling every so often.

Food aversions – LOTS. I had a hard time stomaching salad, meat, cheese, veggies, olives, and pretty much anything except fruit. I lived on smoothies. And granola bars. This was much worse than the first time around! The last couple weeks have been almost back to normal as far as this goes.

Energy – decent at this point. I started exercising a little, but the main cause of any energy deficit is not getting enough sleep due to Judith. She’s still a night owl.

Dizziness – infrequent and seems to coincide with drinking too much caffeine (I have a low tolerance since my first pregnancy) and not getting enough sleep. It resolves after a glass of water with Himalayan sea salt.

Thoughts about labor – I’ve got this! I feel even more excited to give birth this time around because I know how amazing the first few weeks are of getting to know the new little one and being on that natural high from giving birth. Seriously cannot wait!!

Judith’s thoughts about the pregnancy – Well, every time I remind her there’s a baby in my tummy, she holds her stomach and says, “I have one too!” and since I tell her that the baby’s growing, she will randomly touch my stomach and say “Baby’s growing!” Sweetest thing ever! I can’t wait until she can touch my stomach and feel the baby move. She’s really helpful around our baby friends (volunteering to take diapers to the trash for my momma friends when they visit, carrying toys and blankets to baby during play time, etc.) but I keep having to remind myself to expect a little jealousy on her part initially after baby is born. I’m sure her helpfulness will kick in quickly ❤


801 E. Main Street

Hello all! Last weekend we moved to Lakeland (only 35 miles from Tampa, where we lived before) and it has been a great week! I’ve been laser-focused on unpacking and a little decorating from the moment I wake up until bedtime, and I have to say I didn’t mind the moving experience at all! (It’s a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but this move will be the last one for us for a long time, and it’s made my life significantly easier by giving Garrett his own office, which means I don’t have to keep a toddler from making loud noises or running past the webcam all day anymore, so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.)

On Tuesday Judith and I stopped by our first local coffee shop – The Poor Porker – only to find out it is closed Mon-Wed. So we tried again Thursday night and had a fabulous time! I mean, what could go wrong with beignets and campfire coffee? I loved the eclectic/rustic/hipster decor, and Judith thought the “tent” (a huge tipi with seating for 5-6, and a table made from an old piano bench and mismatched belts) was so cool. So we had to return with the “real camera” to take lots of pics that do the place justice! My family came over to visit, and we all went together.

But first – a birthday cake photo! It seems like every year around Garrett’s birthday something major happens (our wedding & his new job were in the same year days before and after his birthday) and this year continued that “tradition” with us moving in less than a week before his birthday.

He likes vanilla cakes…but he only eats one small piece, so this year I made chocolate 😉

(Minor catastrophe on one side of the cake, but icing covered my tracks.)

Judith was very helpful 🙂 She even started posing for pictures again!

All right, here’s our visit to the Poor Porker.

It’s set up as a courtyard with multiple “stations.” The whole thing is called “801 E. Main Street” and The Poor Porker is the coffee & beignet truck (one of the stations). The Corner Store is like a mini grocery store, and there’s also a boutique, bar, and large seating area. There are smaller seating areas all over the courtyard. We started in an old camper and ended up in the tipi.


Seriously there is so much fun furniture and decor there! It was hard to narrow down the pictures to post.

Make sure to visit on your birthday – they’ll give you a free order of their original beignets!

Until next time,


How I Build my Essential Oil Business in 3 hrs a Day (or less!)

Hello! Today’s topic is mostly for my business partners, but instead of only posting it in our Facebook support groups, I figured I’d share it here so network marketing professionals in other companies can benefit from it.

So, building a business in 3 hours a day – sounds too good to be true? The truth is, most network marketers build their businesses on extremely part time hours around their full times jobs and family time, usually working during those dead hours of the week most people spend watching TV or scrolling through social media (I haven’t been a TV person for years, so that part’s easy for me. But if it’s not easy for you to give up, don’t worry, the time you “lost” watching TV – aka invested in your future – will be well worth it).

As a stay a home mom without a daily babysitter, I sometimes barely have a chance to make food to eat (much less to eat it). But my income more than doubled last year, and that’s typical of moms in my company. How do we do it? We make our plan, and stick to it. Here’s mine, for a typical workday. Keep in mind you can do this 5 days a week, or 1 day a week, as long as you’re consistent, it will work. I’ve pared it down to the essentials – the revenue producing activities – that really count.

Hour 1 (before kids wake up):

30 mins personal development (read a book like Go Pro by Eric Worre, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, or the like)

30 mins in your back office (checking numbers and planning who you will call today, praying over your customers and business partners, reviewing scripts, and planning what you’ll say when you call them).

Hour 2 (naptime and/or while pushing baby in the stroller – sometimes this is split between naptime and stroller for me):

On the phone following up with customers, contacts, and/or business partners, or

Teaching a class/product experience or

1-on-1 meeting with potential customer

Hour 3 (after dinner):

Prep for upcoming classes/product experiences/events you’re involved in

Answering emails

Teach webinars/online product experiences

Attend webinars for company-specific training or further product education

Schedule social media posts (try to schedule 2-3 days’ worth at a time)

Blog (if you have one)

That’s it!

But what if you only have 2 hrs a day? Then perform the Hour 3 tasks either a) only on days you do have a 3rd hour, or b) reduce each hour to 40 minutes and spend a little less time on each task. That’s the beauty of network marketing – you go at your own pace, and as long as you keep moving, you’ll be successful!

*I only have one child, so make adjustments if you have multiple kids. Also, this schedule works with my daughter’s current age (1.5 yrs) but will have to be adjusted as she grows up and does different activities/drops a nap/etc.

**This schedule is assuming you will prep meals, plan errands all for one day, and other time-saving habits to ensure you’re using the minimal time you have wisely. I’d plan for a babysitter (or husband or sister or friend) to take the kids for 2 hrs, once a week, so you can meal prep and write out your schedule for the next week. Then, you can pull homemade pancakes out of the freezer in the morning to feed the kids, and put dinner the slow cooker in just a few minutes time, to save huge amounts of time during the weekdays.

Was that helpful? Would you add anything to the key tasks I listed? Let me know in the comments!

Catching Up

Hi all! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! We had a fun family + friends get together at my parents’ home on Thursday (and we’re still eating leftovers!).


This little lady has been keeping me on my toes, saying all kinds of words, and she’s so close to running! She does a speed walk and can get around really fast.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

  • Reading  a new book in 2 days = glorious! (most of it was finished during one of J’s unusually long naps)


  • Staying up super late (read: 5am one night, 2am several nights) with a night owl baby


  • Shopping for clothes at Costco (who am I?!). The things I’ve found are surprisingly practical, affordable, and cute! Beside the maxi skirt pictured, I found a purple jacket that’s rain resistant which is perfect for the weather here.


  • Eating too much pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and after! At least it was homemade and organic 😉


  • Setting up the Christmas tree


  • Spending lots of time outside! (most of that time is spent raking leaves from the tree that never stops shedding)


  • Loving this chocolate granola!


  • Making bunches of Christmas gifts (got a case of mason jars 50% off at Michaels which made each of them so cheap!)


  • Fish-watching with the new (big!) tank

I’m grateful for the simple things this Thanksgiving season, and always ❤

I’ll be back with an essential oil rockstar post up next!


Weekday adventures

Lol, but that’s real life right now. Central Fla has had nonstop rain since Friday. A lot of roads have actually looked like this. But honestly it doesn’t change my schedule. Judith & I just have been just rolling (swimming?) with it. I kinda love watching and listening to a thunderstorm roll in.

We helped out at an awesome Health Symposium (natural health education event) on Friday (Day 1 of the monsoon-like rain), have made several trips to Target (and scored big in the $1/$3 and clearance sections!), and visited Judi’s Grandma & the aunts/uncles (my mom & my younger siblings).

Today we met with 2 close friends and business partners to plan exciting stuff (love you ladies Briana and Corryn!!), spent a lot of time outdoors (between storms), oh, and this little lady took her first steps by herself! 


No, I didn’t get her walking on camera 😭 I tried and tried but she wouldn’t do it again (like the beet juice stains she’s sporting? Keeping it real.)

She’s down for a nap now, but after dinner I’m sure I’ll be crafting a plan to get her to walk again. She won’t do it if she thinks about it too much, so I have to distract her.

Up next for me is a leg workout/HIIT session, then dinner. I’m thinking a big fresh salad and…soup? I’ve been thinking about Vitamix soup since a friend posted a pic of hers on FB last week. It’s really so easy and delicious I just need to do it! I’ll be sure to share the recipe.

Have a great rest of your Wednesday,

❤ Gina

The Baby Food Post

Four months ago, Judith started taking food off my plate. We weren’t quite ready to give her food at that point (she was just 4 mos. old) but I took it as a sign she was ready. Our pediatrician suggested starting solid foods between 4-6 months for less likelihood of food allergies, and said to start with fruits and veggies. We eat mostly fruits and veggies anyway around here (well, chocolate is pretty high up there too), so I was happy to oblige. 

I also was glad our pedi didn’t suggest cereals, because of my research that grains (even gluten free ones) can be inflammatory and raise blood sugar levels unnaturally. They can also be constipating, which Judi definitely doesn’t need to deal with! 

So we started feeding her 3x a day around 6 mos., when she began to ask for food loudly whenever we sat down to eat. It was getting difficult to hold her on my lap through a meal as she tried to grab all the food and made lots of upset noises! Mealtime got so much easier after we got the high chair and gave her solids with each meal. 

We make purées, since she has no teeth yet. The Vitamix is SO convenient for this. Ours has a purée setting so you just start it and walk away. We add pumped breastmilk to every purée so she still gets the immune boosting nutrients and we figure it helps her stomach digest the food better.

(Bonus points if you guess the TV series playing in the background 😉 )

Here’s how we do it:

Start by putting 2 medium sweet potatoes and a butternut squash in the oven at 375. They’ll take about 45 mins to bake.

Steam your fresh/frozen veggies in the meantime. We used about 2 c. frozen spinach, 1 1/2 c. frozen peas, 1 1/2 c. carrots (sliced or shredded), 1 1/2 c. frozen green beans, and 2 c. frozen broccoli this time. We also shred 2 apples and a pear while everything is cooking. That lasts a little over one week.

We keep the steamed veggies separate until pureeing. Here are the combos we make (and Judith likes) from the veggies above:

  • Peas, carrots, and apple
  • Broccoli and sweet potato
  • Green beans, spinach, and pear
  • Butternut squash and apple


After the purées cool, we pour them into little baby food cube containers and squeezable pouches.

That thing with a plastic sippy cup-looking lid is actually made for filling pouches with food! Just fill it up, flip it over, and squeeze to fill a pouch. On the bottom left is a little Popsicle tray. We add a little purée to each slot to make 4 Popsicles. She’s now eating 1-2 cubes or 1 pouch with each meal. Dinner is her biggest meal, where she’ll eat 3 cubes, or 2 plus a Popsicle 😉 Butternut squ has and apple seems to be her favorite combo so far. It takes us about an hour from start to finish to make the week’s worth of food. We leave one tray in the fridge and freeze the rest, thawing as needed.

(This pic is from a time we made some puréed cauliflower. It didn’t freeze well!)

Got any good baby food recipes? When did you start giving your little one solids?